Wednesday, March 30, 2005


New Link to Zippy Spirit

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Current Zip Off.

As we become increasingly interconnected in a global village that essentially joins disparate part of the world into a single community, it will become harder to maintain distinct cultural identities.

In fact as the notion of distance disappears, along with geographical constaints, it becomes harder to identify the physical borders and psychological boundaries of the old-world.

This new universe, populated by the zippies, essentially techno-mall-rats of the future, is created from an electronic membrane that stretches from continent to continent in a web that is often refered to as a global brain.

Sub-cultures like the Zippies, emerged because of the ease with which communication happens, but paradoxically as we slide into a discourse of net culture, the mainstream picks up on these ideas and readily exploits them, without realising their potential or reason for existance.

Other net-communities which I have encountered, are Neutopians, Cyberpunks and Extropians, all of whom are better organised, more individualistic and less dependent upon off-the-shelf hardware for their daily surf.

This blog is going through some changes, and will probably morph into something special, with feedback and debate.

Yours, DRL.
South Africa

Saturday, March 26, 2005


100 000 strong potential audience but no support from alternative media

Despite having an audience potential of 100 000, there has yet to be sign of support from alternative media as far as the Zippies are concerned.

While large media organisations continue to abuse the counter-culture and make profits off the zippie story, there seems little one can do to avoid being labelled a sell-out by the very people who demand alternatives to the mainstream.

So take this opportunity to tell us what you want? Free Media and no delivery, or something which costs something in order to pay those whose work appears here, at least a fair wage?


Thursday, March 17, 2005


Why I am not a Zippie

(as promised Why I am not a Zippie)

A ZIPPIE is essentially, a new breed of technoperson. So plugged in, so contemporary and immediate in ambit, so planetary in scope that he/she/it can no longer exist free of digital constraints, the electric smog of the Internet. In fact an independent existence may not be entirely desirable, because Zippies are the 21st century equivalent of medieval monks, building the spiritual datascape upon which civilisation is based.

Various remedies have been proposed to combat what is essentially a "nerd" factor. In some biographies, Zippies play a less monastic role and assume the cloak of tricksters and troubadours. Here the Zippie at play is inspired by the likes of Abbie Hofman, Jerry Rubin, Wavy Gravy and last but not least, the Three Musketeers.

Nevertheless a romantic element persists even in the writings of Fraser Clark, who refashioned Zippie into a post-punk/splice Anti-SuperHero: Hippy Plus or Technoperson combining 60s spirituality with 90s electro-suss and fashion. Arguably, doomed to failure since the attempt to industrialise primitive WoMan via the beatbox produced the Raver and a dance culture out of step even with its own time.

Today, all we know is that Zippie is, perfectly perhaps an Indian age 18-25, or more -- that the Zippie legend came from India, like the original Goa Meme, repackaged for Time Magazine and resembling a gettoblaster with banghra beats, some of which may have been sampled by Mandoza or Malaika. Which is perhaps why the music angle has been quietly dropped in favour of a passion play about the joys of work in the age of outsourcing.

At the face of it, I am delighted to gain the opportunity to re-evaluate past incarnations and to explore the collapse of distance into a sinkhole of utterances about the new NET geography. Nonetheless I am appalled by the perilous waste of time, the destruction of an exquisite and precious moment and the shedding of a decade merely in order to reiterate the view that Zippies are not America and have nothing to do with Woodstock despite what Ken Kesey or Wavy Gravy may have said.

Perhaps you are a Media Boomer and everything about the 1960s and your life was about Woodstock or Vietnam? For me, everything about the Nineties was about the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, the End of the Cold War, the final shift into democracy, freedom of sexual orientation, human rights, Y2k and the end of the millennium.

The Zippies have managed to reboot themselves finally into the new age, and as I upload these words, I am made aware of the vast gap between rich and poor on both the Indian and African continents, in every city, and every neighbourhood, poverty still exists and the world is still at war with itself.

Which is why I am not a Zippie. In order to have real Zip in ones Stride, one needs a transcendent amount of cash, and this is only so that one may purchase the Bible of Zip, the kind of extraneous data that spews from the West and which refuses to be had for less than R250.

David Robert Lewis

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Zippies x 3

Online Zippie (Issue One)

Zippies x 3

The Zippies are a technoculture that transcends space and time.

The Zippies are an identity created by Fraser Clark and used by Wired Magazine to sell advertising.

The Zippies began in India and currently number in the hundreds of thousands, and although few in number, there were also zippies in the 1960s.

All of these statements are true, and depending upon your point of view and whom one trusts or believes, the Zippies could just be the only thing that is left on this planet, after the blast. As Marshall Macluhen predicted, the Internet has gone from being merely a global brain to an extension of reality, a planetary nervous system with its entrails connected to pretty much everything.

One could also take a breath here and say, technospirituality is oh so nineties and thank god for rock 'n roll if only to assuage the sneaking suspicion that everything about the 21st century is second-hand fakery, perfumed propaganda, and media-spin.

Take the brutality of having to watch DSTV second-hand, via observations on human behaviour, street fashion and a fast-moving youth-culture that seems able to fore-shadow everything one says and does these days, without anybody having to actually do the ground work, the labour of thought that enables us to comprehend our position in space and time.

What I am about to tell you then may shock you out of complacency, to engage with a phenomena that is not going away anytime soon.

Briefly, technology has achieved something that scholars warned us about over a decade ago -- the much vaunted, Death of Distance on the Internet, has meant that Destination is no longer Destiny, one may as well live in New York and commute from LA, or stay in Cape Town and work in Johannesburg, but this does not half-explain what is happening at all. Predictably, our old concepts of thinking about spacetime and geography have failed to take into account the rub-off effect on culture that such a philosophical conundrum as "Death of Distance" brings to a society struggling to grasp the narrative of Death/Rebirth/Death, in an ever-widening entanglement of western estrangement from the material world.

Materially speaking, think about what you are reading now, which could very well be uploaded directly from Bangalore India, edited on the fly, without so much as a sign "Made in India" and the speed of human development at this juncture begins to worry those of us who don't speak Gujirat, or know anything about Hinduism and Vedic Culture. Are the Zippies having a rub-off effect on students in Taiwan? Is the Sub-Continent's Giant awake or sleeping like some Gulliver?

Culture Shock works both ways, and while India floods the West with cheap software, the West floods India with Elvis, who else but the King? Images of an Elvis Convention in Rajistan are broadcast around the world, finally making there way onto a local news broadcast in Africa.

Next Up: South Africa has the largest Indian Community living outside of India, are there Zippies in Africa?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Disciples of Zip

We are the disciples of zip, not Fraser Clark, not John Bagby, not clubs, not media, not tours, not even the new york times. Follow your zip where you want it to be, and it will be there. Rumi Yantra

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